The Value of Pie

Our favourite seasonal pies—savoury and sweet—just in time for holiday feasts

 

North Shore Pie Co.’s turkey-cranberry-cream-cheese pie

Why slave away in your kitchen basting a bird all day when you can order this seasonal family-size turkey-cranberry-cream-cheese pie instead? It’s like the bakers at Etobicoke’s New Zealand–inspired pie shop crammed everything we love about Christmas into one flaky crust. $20. 107 Shorncliffe Rd., 416-233-1269, northshorepies.com


 
 

Bakerbots’ pecan pie

This Bloorcourt Village bakery might be best known for its ice-cream sandwiches on colossal house-made cookies, but they make some damn fine pies, too—the pecan pie, in particular. It’s like a behemoth butter tart, artfully covered in concentric circles of the luscious southern nut. $28. 205 Delaware Ave., 416-901-3500, bakerbotsbaking.com


 
 

Ma Maison’s chicken pie

Head to this patisserie, a petite piece of Paris on the Kingsway, for the chicken pie, a buttery, flaky shell chock full of tender white meat and veggies in a creamy chicken stock–based béchamel. Turkeys shouldn’t get all the attention this time of year. $32.25. 4243 Dundas St. W., 416-236-2234, mamaisongourmet.ca


 
 

Bean and Baker’s sour cherry pie

At Bickford Park’s straight-out-of-Riverdale malt shop, soda jerks in cloth caps and bow ties serve up pie loaded with sour cherries—each one a bright-red flavour bomb ready to burst. $28. 326 Harbord St., 416-536-7632, beanandbaker.com


 
 

Cumbrae’s bolognese pie

The butchers extraordinaire at Cumbrae’s beautiful new Bayview Avenue store have packed their classic porky-beefy bolognese sauce into a pot pie, with some parmigiana for good measure. Don’t let the small size fool you—this Italian tart could easily satiate two hungry pie enthusiasts. $11.49. 1589 Bayview Ave., 416-485-5620; 714 Queen St. W., 416-681-1111, cumbraes.com


 
 

The Rolling Pin’s apple pie

This popular Bedford Park bakery makes classic, just-like-grandma-made-’em apple pies; the golden-brown shells are stuffed with a mix of cinnamon-laced Macintosh, Granny Smith and Red Delicious slices, and beautifully latticed overtop. $25. 1970 Avenue Rd., 416-691-4554, therollingpin.ca


 
 

The Tempered Room’s savoury pumpkin pie

Come autumn, almost everything that’s edible or potable is infiltrated with pumpkin, and now that includes savoury pies. This one, from Parkdale’s premiere patisserie, stuffs perfect puff pastry with pumpkin, tender short ribs from Ontario Harvest and maitake mushrooms. $68. 1374 Queen St. W., 416-546-4374, thetemperedroom.com


 
 

Butchers of Distinction’s pork-apple pie

The pies at this Riverside butcher shop are as varied as the cuts in the display case. If there’s a surplus of beef cheek or ham or chicken, it’ll end up lovingly wrapped in pastry in no time. The small-batch pork, apple and cheddar pie is a novel, savoury-sweet solution to having a bumper crop of locally sourced braised pork. $22.95. 738 Queen St. E., 416-466-9191, butchersofdistinction.ca


 
 

Kanga’s traditional Aussie pie

Kanga’s personal-size pies come in many flavours, but our pick is the traditional Aussie one loaded with ground beef and savoury gravy (and stamped with an adorable pastry ’roo paw print). Dipping each bite in ketchup is highly encouraged. $6.85. 65 Duncan St., 416-324-9174; plus two other Toronto locations, eatkanga.com


 
 

Sanagan’s Meat Locker’s tourtière

The popular Kensington butcher that recently opened an east end store at Gerrard and Coxwell, makes its tourtière—a traditional Christmas Eve indulgence—year-round. It all starts with an absurdly rich butter-and-lard pastry crust. Inside, the savoury pork-and-bacon filling is flavoured with just the right amount of onions and ground aromatics, including cloves, nutmeg and allspice. $15-$28. 176 Baldwin St., 1513 Gerrard St. E., 416-593-9747, sanagansmeatlocker.com


 
 

Bobbette and Belle’s lemon meringue pie

The jukebox-diner staple gets a high-end makeover from one of the city’s fanciest pastry boutiques. A supremely creamy lemon curd rests between a thin yet sturdy shortbread crust and an elegantly styled canopy of smooth, lightly toasted meringue. It’s almost (almost) too pretty to slice. $32. 1121 Queen St. E.; 3347 Yonge St., 416-466-8800, bobbetteandbelle.com


 
 

Brick Street Bakery’s mincemeat tart

This bakery, which began in the Distillery District, has an affinity for traditional British savouries. That means plenty of sausage rolls, steak pies and, during the holiday season, these mini rounds of mincemeat. They’re made the old-school way, with suet, and loaded with currants and raisins, then topped off with a wee star-shaped pastry cutout for extra yum. $2.75. 27 Trinity St., 416-214-4949; plus five other Toronto locations, brickstreetbakery.com


 
 

Adamson Bakery’s sweet potato pie

Sweet potatoes get the star treatment at Adamson Bakery, a Leaside shop that—oh, by the way—doubles as a barbecue joint. The filling, made from fresh sweet potatoes, cinnamon and nutmeg, with a prominent vanilla note, has a luxurious smoothness. The fluted crust, made with butter and brisket tallow, is then ringed with dollops of whipped cream and roasted pepitas—it’s a dessert pie, but it goes pretty darn well with the savouries on the table, too. $24. 176 Wicksteed Ave.,647-559-2080, adamsonbakery.com


 
 

The Pie Commission’s hot chocolate pie

A mug of hot chocolate is one of the few things that takes the ouch out of winter. But even better than a steaming cup of Carnation is this sweet five-inch pie from the Pie Commission, which layers thick chocolate custard and gently browned marshmallows into an all-butter crust.$6.95. 887 Dundas St. W., 647-351-7437; 935 The Queensway, 416-848-7424, piecommission.com


 
 

Mabel’s Bakery’s pumpkin pie

Mabel’s makes the most perfect pumpkin pie—you could say they’re the lords of the gourds. The secrets to their oh-so-fluffy filling? Canned pumpkin purée, a whack of good whipping cream and a generous glug of Canadian maple syrup, for a sweet, slightly smoky touch. $18. 2755 Dundas St. W., 416-519-4375; plus three other Toronto locations, mabelsbakery.ca

This story originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Toronto Life magazine. To subscribe, for just $24 a year, click here.